Demolishing the LCA

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General Motors started taking bids Wednesday for the demolition project which could begin early 2006.

Neighbors and city leaders are already starting to talk about what will be built in its place.

According to Bob Burns, the president of the Westside Neighborhood Association, most residents are glad the buildings will be demolished to make room for new development.

"Its good news," said Burns, "the biggest fear of the residents was that the plant would close and nothing would happen to it."

Burns said the ideas are all over the place including apartments, strips malls, an automotive museum, even a water park. He pointed out that environmental considerations will play a role in the decision.

Mayor Tony Benavides said he would like to initiate a study that would involve GM, city leaders and neighbors to figure out the best use for the land.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for economic development," Benavides said.

Mayoral candidate Virg Bernero (D-Lansing) said he would like to see part of the property to go to small business

"Small business is where the job growth is," Bernero said.

Bernero added he would like to see a combination of residential and commercial development. He's also enthusiastic about the possibility of creating a community for seniors.

Wednesday, the city's "GM Quick Response Team" was supposed to meet, but that meeting has been postponed until Monday.